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64 nm-thick CuS CE obtains 3.25% power conversion efficiency TEXT SIZE: A A A
Date:2016.09.18 Author:XIA Rui Clicks:

Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs) based on quantum confinement effect is a promising low-cost alternative to existing photovoltaic technologies. Counter electrode (CE), as a crucial part of QDSCs, functions in the transferring electrons and catalyzing the electrolyte. Copper sulfide (CuS) is widely used as CE in the research of QDSCs by virtue of its high electrical conductivity and catalytic activity.

Currently, the thicknesses of the reported CuS electrodes are mostly hundreds of nanometers or even several microns. The CuS CE with thickness less than 100 nm has been rarely reported. The CE with low thickness has many advantages, such as reducing the fabrication cost, improving binding force between CuS and substrate. CE with low thickness and high catalytic activity is better than the thick one.

A recent research on CE with low thickness was performed by the research group led by Prof. FANG Xiaodong from Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Dr. XIA Rui et al. prepared CuS films with different thickness under 100 nm using simple chemical bath deposition method. The surface roughness, conductivity electrocatalytic ability and the corresponding cell performance are investigated in detail. As a result, the CuS CE with thickness only 64 nm obtained a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.25% (Fig. 1(A)), higher than the cells using Pt (1.91%) and CuS CEs with thickness of 2.5 μm (CS-DB, 2.15%). Electrochemical tests including electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), Tafel plots, and cyclic voltammetry test (CV) indicate the CS 2.5 has the best catalytic ability (Fig. 1(B)) and stability. It is the highest PCE of QDSCs using such thin CuS CEs.

  This research was published in ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA entitled “A new probe into thin copper sulfide counter electrode with thickness below 100 nm for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells”.

  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, and the Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013468616308465



Fig. 1 (A). J-V curves of the QDSCs employing 3 different counter electrodes. (B). Nyquist curves of the symmetrical cell employing 3 different counter electrodes.(Image by XIA Rui)




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